• Mon, Apr 2 2007

Going the Distance for DNA

Everlast Women\'s Pro Style Training Gloves (Pink)If I’ve told you I don’t want to give you my DNA, you’d better stay clear. And if you’re as crazy as Derrell Teat, who was featured in the New York Times yesterday, better prepare yourself for a lawsuit. Don’t think you can stalk me for a stray hair that falls to the ground or a coffee cup I threw in the garbage can. If I catch you, get ready for a fight. In the UK, I can have you prosecuted for analyzing my DNA without consent under the Human Tissue Act.

Derrell Teat, 63, a wastewater coordinator, recently found herself staking out a McDonald’s. The man she believed was the last male descendant of her great-great-great grandfather’s brother had refused to give her his DNA. So she decided to get it another way.

“I was going to take his coffee cup out of the garbage can,” said Ms. Teat, who traveled to the Georgia mountains from Tampa, Fla., with her test kit. “I was willing to do whatever it took.”

Does she have no respect for a person’s privacy? Others have no qualms about taking DNA samples from relatives with dementia, corpses, and total strangers. And for what? Just so they can have the fun of building their family tree.

Steam’s coming out of my ears just thinking about these people who have the nerve to call themselves “DNA vampires.” Unbelievable.

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